Exhibition by Raúl Castro Camacho (Memo). Gallery Collage Havana, Street San Rafael Nr.103 between Consulado and Industria, Center Havana. December 8, 2017 (inauguration)

Raúl Castro (Memo), is an artist dedicated to formal experimentation from the handling of essentially graphic concepts. Each one of its series, formally divergent, has as its common denominator the nature of its motives and the synthesis as the basis of its representational operation. His works, moreover, always occupy space with the total sobriety and elegance conferred by the strict use of black and white. In this same sense, Cosmos is a new formal platform, from which the artist conceptually penetrates the nexus through which he equates in relevance the connotations that man has given to the stars through time, with which they have reached some events, processes, myths, icons ... that today we recognize part of our collective consciousness.

In this way and from his own particular point of view, he creates his own cosmos: a mirror that reflects a well-defined area in his ideology, a place of conflict where polysemy, paradigm, chimera, longing, hope, uncertainty... and which to a great extent reveals his own state of thought. So the proposal is not the contemplation of the isolated object but the exhibition itself.

To return to things themselves, to disfigure them, to recontextualize them and to organize them in dialogue with each other, and even with the curatorial concept itself: it is to recreate the tension between the historical event and the almost forgotten event, between the cultural splendour of "contemporaneity" and the ruin of another splendour, as a balance that levels an unfulfilled future and a past that has become ruin; only from this point of view, the value of ruin will not reside then in its state of decadence, but in the testimonial value of its venerated forms.

The apparent disconnection between the motifs in contrast to the way in which they are ordered, named, in a common space, points to the collective, to the recovery of the symbol from the possibility of painting to incarnate cathartic values of community as opposed to an individualistic or typified order. Cosmos: utopia or dystopia, dispersion, a block of granite in which the concept of solidity vanishes in the act of representation. Before the infinite everything succumbs when we consider dismembering it, when we try to capture its very essence...we find ourselves once again before nothing.

The struggle is then situated in the order of time as the agent of all transformations -all order is ephemeral from inside to outside and vice versa- so the ephemeral ends up always giving consistency to the enduring. Soon memory transforms, objects change and personal anecdote serves to look forward without having any certainty of history. Stories will always be subjective and incomplete. So the spectator will also have to put together his own story, and will be faced with the work in a situation similar to that of the artist, trying to solve questions knowing that it is an unfinished process.


by: Arlene Ladaga

Havana, 2017